Honda unveiled various companion mobility robot prototypes at CES 2018. At least one of them, an autonomous vehicle that can travel off-road, is moving forward. At a solar panel construction site, Honda and engineering firm Black & Veatch have been putting the second-generation Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) through its paces.
- Collaboration: This was the first field test in which multiple AWVs collaborated. The trucks haul trailers and transport construction materials, water, and other supplies over the 1,000-acre construction site. The AWV can tow a trailer with a total weight of 750kg and carry a payload of up to 399kg (880 pounds) (1,653 pounds).
- Showcase: A Black & Veatch employee said in a video showcasing the AWVs that traveling across such a huge site can take a long time. As a result, loading the cars with resources and transferring them to a different site can improve efficiency and save employee travel time, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
- New features: Honda generated a high-definition map of the site so that operators could determine where the AWVs should begin and end their journey. According to the report, the vehicles came to a complete stop within millimeters of their destinations. The AWV may be operated remotely in addition to working independently.
- Claimant: The company claims the vehicle can run for up to eight hours on a single charge, even in a high-temperature environment. The AWV uses a number of sensors for navigation, including GPS, radar, and LiDAR, as well as 3D cameras for remote monitoring. Honda says that even with a maximum payload capacity, the AWV has a range of up to 27.9 miles, depending on the use case.
- Design: As it iterates on the prototype, the manufacturer hopes to improve the AMV’s performance and design. It may also allow for the addition of accessories and tools. Honda hasn’t said when a commercial version of the AMV will be released.